Examining Broncos' running back room before the 2024 Draft

Can the Broncos return the same room and expect different results?
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

What is the definition of insanity? Something about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? The Broncos are set to return the same running back room from last year, a year in which their rushing attack was somewhat underwhelming. Let's take a look at who is coming back, and what one could expect.

The trio: Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin, Samaje Perine

The Broncos rode with the same three backs last season, and they expect to do the same again. While Williams was the bell-cow back, the three backs all possessed a different role on the team.

Williams rushed for 774 yards in his sixteen games, only hit paydirt three times, and averaged a disappointing 48.4 rushing yards per game. Williams' long run was only 21 yards, put up the lowest yards per attempt of his career, and averaged the most attempts per game of his career. Williams' role as the Broncos' main back is in serious question, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Broncos could look to bring in his replacement.

For Jaleel McLaughlin, his 2024 outlook is much better than Williams'. McLaughlin burst onto the scene in 2023 and became the Broncos' most explosive option out of the backfield. A former undrafted free agent, the shifty back had a chip on his shoulder, and was able to prove it in 2023. McLaughlin ran for 410 yards, received 130, and hit the end zone three times. The Youngstown State product is set for a much larger role on the 2024 squad, and could possibly become a number one back by the end of the season.

Samaje Perine is back in Denver for the second year of his two-year deal and is hoping to reignite some of the explosive success that he had for the Broncos. Perine became one of the better receiving threats in football in late and close games. Perine did not do much in the running game last year, rushing for just 238 yards last year, but he hauled in 455 receiving yards, the best of any Broncos back.

Ultimately, he has a small and niche role on the team, but there isn't anyone better for it than Perine. His second year in Denver should be as productive as his first.

dark. Next. Regrading 2023 Draft. Looking back and regrading the 2023 Broncos draft class

Grade: C